really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,798 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Ford Windstar suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

Dec 262014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the rear axle became fractured. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V195000 (suspension). The contact mentioned that the reinforcement brackets were attached and the axles were not replaced. As a result the rear axle fractured. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #65

Dec 082014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 187,750 miles
Driving home at about 20 mph and suddenly the left rear end of the van collapse onto the tire. I loss control of the vehicle monetarily, myself and my three children were very shaken up by the experience. Thank god we were not driving on the freeway or this could have been a very bad accident. The left rear tire was angle up into the wheel well. Upon inspection the rear axle housing had cracked and broke downward causing loss of control of the van. Contacted russ milne Ford service dept. And was told there was nothing they could do for me other than me buying a brand new rear axle assembly.

- Clinton Twp., MI, USA

problem #64

Nov 032014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
On this date, I was driving my vehicle at speed when the sub frame failed. This caused the steering to drop out, leaving me with no control of the vehicle. I narrowly missed an 18 wheeler doing a turn and got stopped. Ford had my vehicle for over 2 weeks, and didn't provide a rental vehicle for 10 days. Ford refused to cover the steering mechanism, even though it plainly says on they're website that would be a consequence of sub frame failure. I have made over 30 phone calls to the dealer and Ford Motor Company's customer service hotline, and now the dealer is telling me my vehicle is fixed, but I have to pay for the parts put on, and a repair I did not pre-authorize.I am a disabled veteran, and I want someone to explain to me how a vehicle that was perfectible drivable before this happened is now being held hostage by a dealer until I come up with $140, because the mfgr part failed and almost caused me to be killed. The Ford case number is [xxx].thanks for your time and attention information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Waverly, OH, USA

problem #63

Nov 072014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 161,527 miles


Per recall 10V385000 / PE10016 my 2003 Windstar was repaired with the axle patch in 2011. On 11/07/14 my local Ford dealership (dave knapp Ford) found that the recall fix did not prevent the axle from cracking. On 11/10/14 photo's of the crack were sent to Ford and they denied coverage. I attempted to resolve this issue with Ford on 11/11/14 case# [xxx] and was told that Ford would not replace the axle. Per the PE10016 investigation it state's, "to correct the safety defect", " owners who have vehicles with cracked axles will either be offered a repair or alternative transportation until parts become available". I had the recall repair done and the axle still cracked and now I am being told that Ford will not cover it. The crack is directly below the factory recall patched area. The crack is sufficient enough that the left rear tire can not be aligned correctly. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Adrian, MI, USA

problem #62

Nov 092014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
Driving down road all of a sudden wheels start screamin get it home and both back wheels are leaning in at top and out at bottom so I get wheels off and its jacked up and the dagon axel is cracked and this is even after the supposed rear axel recall and it being fixed it freakin broke ne ways not sure what to do.

- Mt Vernon, OH, USA

problem #61

Oct 072014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 126,975 miles
The rear axle on my 2003 Windstar cracked and split about 10 inches from where it attaches to the wheel on the drivers side of the van. While looking into how much it would cost to fix, I discovered that there was a recall for that exact problem. I called my local Ford dealer and they said it would have to be looked at and could take about a week. I had it towed in and waited for a response. A week went by and when I called, the receptionist told me they would let me know as soon as possible. I waited a few more days and called again but this time I ended up speaking to the service manager. He said the van had actually been "repaired" once before through a previous owner/recall and that the original servicing dealership did not perform the work properly. The first time it was fixed, they somehow reinforced the axle but apparently did not put the "reinforcement" in the right place. That being the case, he said that the current damage now defaulted back to the dealer where it was originally serviced. He also said that the front of the van was rusted underneath but I do not see anything excessive and I am not convinced that this is unusual for a 12 year old vehicle. This is not a high mileage vehicle and it is in really nice condition otherwise. Considering the fact that this is an documented defect, I simply want it fixed properly and quickly.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #60

Oct 042014


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While the vehicle was being serviced, the mechanic discovered that the rear axle was fractured and the subframe lower control arm was corroded. The mechanic stated that the rear axle and subframe lower control arm needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V195000 (suspension) and NHTSA campaign number: 12V194000 (suspension). The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Satellite Beach , FL, USA

problem #59

Sep 272014


  • 151,693 miles
Heard a loud crack noise from my driveway where the vehicle was parked, found the left front struts coil spring to be broken in three pieces. I was fortunate not to be driving the vehicle at the time due to the fact the sprint would have penetrated the left front tire. I replaced the entire left front strut with a complete new strut that meets oem specifications. I was a bit leary about driving the vehicle the next day to take my wife to work, I visually inspected the right front strut coil spring and saw nothing visibly wrong with it. I was shocked to find out the right front strut spring broke while I was pulling forward later today at 151,725 miles. The broken piece is now pressing against the tire. I will now have to replace the right front strut with a new unit that meets oem specifications. I'm worried about other drivers having this issue if one breaks while driving at any speed and having the broken coil spring puncture their tire.

- Deforest, WI, USA

problem #58

Aug 262014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
The rear axle cracked and brocked in the midle made the back driver side tire to hit the back of the fender and I was unable to drive the car there was a recall but Ford insisted in saying that there wasnt any thing they can do about that.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #57

Jun 222014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 180,713 miles
This vehicle was serviced approx. 2.5 years ago for a recall on the rear axle. At that time I was advised of no concerns of a compromised axle. They reassured me that they placed brackets on the axle should there be a problem in the future. Thank goodness the axle fractured while traveling on a quiet country road. We drove over a low point in the road (not a pot hole) and that is when the axle let go along with the brackets that were placed to support the axle! this axle should have been replaced at the time of the recall!! I am very thankful that the axle didn't let go while I was with my family on the highway. The outcome certainly would have been much different and quite possibly tragic! I am very disappointed with Ford in how they handled this matter. They stated they would not be held responsible for a recall past 12 months of the service date. They would not take responsibility for the mishandling of this recall!!!

- New Braintree, MA, USA

problem #56

Aug 182014


  • 223,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while inspecting the vehicle, he noticed that the rear axle was corroded and fractured. The contact mentioned that the vehicle had been previously repaired under recall NHTSA campaign number: 12V195000 (suspension). The dealer was contacted and advised the contact to bring the vehicle in for further inspection. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that the prior recall had expired. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 223,000.

- Staunton, VA, USA

problem #55

Aug 122014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
Van started making a loud metal banging noise while on vacation. Took to a local shop where I was shown that the subframe ( where the ac water leaks down) was completely rotted thru and broken, making the van unsafe to drive/ the van already had brackets on the subframe and rear axle installed by Ford just weeks earlier, but this was not repaired or addressed.

- Lewiston , NY, USA

problem #54

Jun 262014


  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, one of the axles fractured. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V194000 (suspension). The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 133,000.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #53

May 132014


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated while having an inspection performed, the technician notified her there was a crack in the axle wheel. The vehicle was previously repaired under recall 10V385000 (suspension). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 128,000 and the current mileage was 129,151.

- Lumberton, NJ, USA

problem #52

Jun 052014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
My wife driving to work Thursday 40 mph and rear axle broke. Left rear tire forced against wheel well causing significant smoke and tire damage. Passing car flag my wife down and got her to pull over. When I checked it out later in the day found that rear axle was broke and not drivable. Cost to fix at my total expense $1030 plus tax plus new tire. Recall was performed in 2011 at kistler Ford to install some kind of rear axle supports and also something done to reinforce front subframe. Axle in back looks like it broke inside the reinforcements on or near the left side. Kistler Ford service manager stated he has seen this happen a few times after recall repair and Ford not willing to take care of additional issues after the recall. That does not seem acceptable to me. Seems their recall repair not sufficient. Kistler Ford service manager nor myself a(54yr old) have ever heard of axles failing under normal circumstances ever. This should never happen. This will kill and injure additional people. What if my wife driving 70mph down the highway when this happened? we were planning on taking my family of 5 to the smokey mountains end of this month. This could have been a terrible disaster. We bought this car new in 2003 keeping it well maintained with intention of passing it down to our 20,19 and 16 year old. There are reports of accidents and at least 1 death as the result of this defect. Something needs to be done. I also recommended they examine the front subframe since there may be issues with that repair from reports seen on the internet. Do not want to fix the rear and have that go bad also. Sounds like they need to take these vehicles off the road. I have some pictures of the rear axle.

- Sylvania, OH, USA

problem #51

May 222014


  • 173,000 miles
There was a recall on rear axles of Ford Windstar. I noticed my rear axle was cracked, so I called the Ford Motor Company and was told my van was not included in the recall. I was told to take my van to the local dealer and see if they could make a special exemption and have my rear axle replaced. Ford Motor Company said no, they would not fox my rear axle with 3 cracks in it, it wasn't covered in the recall. The local dealer did not want to release my van for me to drive because it was very serious and dangerous. This is the only way to get myself and my 2 young children to school, work, ballgames, etc.. the recall was for vans originally sold or currently registered in certain states that use road salt. My state (tn) does use salt. One of the states listed was Virginia. I live 5 mins from the va state line and have family that live there, so we do travel in va often. Also, the previous state on my title is va! I believe Ford should issue a mass recall on the rear axle from all the complaints I have read. I was told to keep my receipts when I have it fixed in case they issue a recall I may be reimbursed. I do not have the funds to have this fixed but it is my only way to get where I need to be. I do believe Ford Motor Company is in the wrong and something should be done.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #50

Apr 302014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
The rear axle assy. Cracked and the tires where tipping in toward the body. Took it to preston, in burton, Ohio and they said the recall had been done on 04/30/2011. It was exactly 2 years to the day that it cracked right beside the bracket on the passenger side. Preston said it was out of warranty for fixing it and it will cost ust to fix it. We don't think it should be our responsibility since it was exactly 2 years to the day that it was fixed with the recall. If it was done correctly the first time and check the way it should have been then why did it break. My son is a mechanic and he said that it probably had a hair line crack in it when the did the recall fix and they didn't see it. The dealership is giving us a hard time about fixing it, because we don't have $1600 to do it and they won;T work with is to make payments or anything so far. We really think that Ford should have to pay for it or at least offer to pay for the rear axle. I would appreciate hearing from you on this matter asap. Thank you

- Middlefield, OH, USA

problem #49

May 022014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
The "repair" they made did not hold up.this is the 2nd time it has almost killed us. Waiting on a reply from legal counsel at Ford. It is definitely totaled with the damage. I guess enough people haven't died yet to do a mass recall. Even if you had the recall done, it obviously doesn't work. How many families traveling 70 mph down the highway with this faulty vehicle need to die" thanks Ford for making our cars death traps. Ford Windstar. I hope many see this post and start demanding their cars be replaced before they kill someone.the sub frame was replaced and they even used the old hardware to save money. My brand new sub frame is held together with my rusty old bolts. I fear for the next accident hopefully my children won't be in the car this time. So no we are in round three of this death trap of a van. The customer service representative asked me. "what would you like Ford to do"" I want a car that is not continually falling apart. I wanted a buy back option in the beginning. I feel that a significant percentage above blue book is required at dealer price levels. I kept the van after the first repairs because I could not afford another vehicle and I could not bring myself to sleep at night worrying about the person and their family I sold it to. I see no reason why the buy back option should not be available to me and others out there with these repairs that are faulty. I guess enough people haven't died for the corporate people to lose sleep and bring back the vehicles that can kill others because of manufacturer defects. Please share the images on facebook and with family and friends that you love. This will kill someone if it hasn't already.

- Athens, OH, USA

problem #48

Apr 072014


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, an abnormal noise was present from the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the front lower control arm rear attaching bracket was fractured due to rust and corrosion. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Brewer, ME, USA

problem #47

Mar 282014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 10V385000 (suspension) and recently discovered that the rear axle was fractured. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was confirmed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage and VIN was not available.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

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